Burkina Faso condemns ‘barbaric, cowardly’ assault after fighters ambush an army-escorted resupply convoy within the Sahel area.
Burkina Faso’s authorities says a minimum of 11 troopers have been killed and 50 civilians had been lacking after armed fighters attacked a 150-vehicle military-escorted convoy taking provides to a northern city.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the federal government mentioned the assault came about on Monday within the commune of Gaskinde in Soum province, the place armed teams linked to al-Qaeda and the ISIL (ISIS) group have been escalating attacks and seizing territory since 2015.
Some 28 folks, together with 20 troopers, had been wounded, whereas dozens of vans had been destroyed.
Violence has raged in Burkina Faso since Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba seized energy in a coup in January, toppling the West African nation’s elected chief and promising to rein within the armed teams. As in neighbouring international locations, fighters affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) have stoked the unrest, even after Damiba earlier this month sacked his defence minister and assumed the function himself.
Within the northern Soum province, armed teams have blockaded a number of areas, so authorities convoys and airdrops have delivered important items to trapped civilians. Monday’s assault was the newest concentrating on army-escorted resupply convoys.
Lionel Bilgo, spokesperson for the federal government, referred to as the assault “cowardly and barbaric”.
“The provisional toll is that 11 our bodies of troopers have been discovered,” he mentioned. “About 50 civilians are lacking and searches are ongoing.”
A safety supply instructed the AFP information company that the toll could possibly be as excessive as 60 lifeless.
“Virtually the whole convoy was burnt,” a supply instructed the company.
A video shared on-line confirmed folks scrambling to retrieve items from a minimum of a dozen blazing vans and a plume of smoke stretching throughout the scrubland. One other video confirmed crowds welcoming automobiles from the convoy that had survived the assault and made it to the city of Djibo.
The footage couldn’t be verified.
Insecurity has risen throughout West Africa’s Sahel area over the previous decade as an armed wrestle that took root in Mali has unfold. 1000’s have been killed and greater than two million displaced regardless of the presence of overseas troops and United Nations peacekeepers. Fighters have mined roads, besieged cities, destroyed water amenities and undermined efforts to resupply Burkina Faso’s more and more remoted north and east.
On Sunday, a minimum of 4 folks had been wounded when one other army-escorted resupply convoy within the Sahel hit a roadside bomb, safety sources instructed AFP, however the automobiles had been capable of attain their vacation spot. On September 6, a minimum of 35 civilians were killed when a automobile of their convoy additionally hit an improvised explosive system.
Greater than 40 p.c of Burkina Faso, a former French colony, is now outside government control.
In recent times, the violence has begun to spill over into the littoral states of Ivory Coast and Togo.
“The deteriorating safety state of affairs in Burkina Faso and Mali has made the north of the coastal international locations the brand new entrance line towards armed teams working within the Sahel,” the Konrad Adenauer Basis, a German suppose tank, mentioned in a report in April.